The dangers of indoor play areas
December 3rd, 2011
01:03 AM ET

The dangers of indoor play areas

Children’s indoor play structures - such as those areas containing tubes, tunnels, slides, climbing ropes and webs, as well as inflatables and trampolines - have become modern day conveniences.

They're found in fast-food restaurants and pay-for-play establishments in neighborhoods around the globe. Moderate estimates indicate that in the United States alone there are more than 15,000 of these facilities in operation. At an average of 50 children per day, this means 750,000 children per day are playing 270,000,000 times per year in indoor play areas.

In the summer of 2011 an impromptu visit to a play area inside a fast-food establishment became the impetus for what is now my personal campaign to improve children’s health. During that visit my children and I saw broken and failing equipment, rotting food, obscene graffiti, grime and filth, and what we later learned was fecal contamination.

When multiple reports to management fell on deaf ears, I enlisted the help of a microbiologist and an analytical lab to discern whether the conditions - in addition to being visually disturbing - were deleterious to children’s health. Those results indicated a problem far greater than I ever imagined.

Not only did we find pathogens that could make children ill, we found bacteria that were potentially deadly.

To be sure the conditions were not unique to that location, I traveled all over the country taking video and swabs. In the past six months I have gathered data from six national chains, as well as several independently owned establishments. Locations were chosen at random and represented high and low socio-economic statuses in both rural and urban areas.

Among my bacterial findings: Staph aureus, Pseudomonas, E. coli, Bacillus cereus and Coliforms. These can cause everything from nausea and vomiting, to skin infections, meningitis and death. Maintenance problems I found included broken second-story windows, missing bolts and screws, unsecured platforms, failing Plexiglas, and shredded webbing.

Equally as important is the feedback I get from parents. In the past few months I have received hundreds of messages telling me about their child’s illness or injury. These stories are enough to spur anyone into action.

Armed with input from parents, pediatricians, family practitioners, microbiologists and my own background as a child and adolescent development specialist, I set out to correct the problem. Along with my partner, Dr. Annissa Furr, I formed Kids Play Safe. We are a non-profit organization formed to raise awareness, conduct microbiological testing and reach out to the media and legislators in hopes to influencing public policy and instituting change.

Additionally, I drafted the Kids Play Safe bill. The bill amends current health codes to include soft contained play areas. In essence it grants health inspectors the regulatory authority to inspect the play area and the equipment and to enforce penalties should a problem exist.

To date, two states (Illinois and California) have picked up the bill and in Arizona, Maricopa County is adjusting the verbiage in the current health code. We are also reaching out to state restaurant associations, hospital associations, and pediatric associations for support.

Toddlers, preschool and elementary school-aged children, because of their primary behavioral patterns and their underdeveloped immune systems, are considered a subset of the population highly susceptible to illness, injury, and infection.

The current lack of regulation related to cleaning and maintenance of indoor play areas represents an imminent health and safety risk that is easily correctable. Cleaning and maintenance should be regular, thorough and verifiable and should apply to all food establishments with designated play areas.

To us the bottom line is that children deserve safe places to play and we will continue to work diligently to ensure that happens.

For more on Erin Carr-Jordan, executive director of Kids Play Safe, watch “Sanjay Gupta, M.D." at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

soundoff (809 Responses)
  1. SEO Marketing Consultant

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 22, 2021 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Internet Marketing Services

    I really love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my very own site and want to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!


    June 22, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Content Marketing Business


    June 22, 2021 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. SEO Marketing Consultant


    June 23, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. survival podcast


    June 23, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Internet Marketing Specialist

    You have made some good points there. I checked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 23, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Window Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Glass Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. candace owens podcast

    I'm very pleased to uncover this page. I want to to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new things on your web site.


    June 23, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Electrical Repair Near Me

    Very nice post. I definitely appreciate this website. Stick with it!


    June 23, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. appliance repair near me


    June 23, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Parts And Repair Near Me

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    June 23, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Digital Marketing Service

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the web to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    June 23, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Local Marketing Companies Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Agency

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    June 23, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. gravel near me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am going through difficulties with your RSS. I donít know why I can't join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 23, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. animal hospital near me


    June 23, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. qdoba near me


    June 23, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair And Service Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Service Near Me

    After I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    June 23, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Local Marketing Consultant


    June 23, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. honda dealer near me


    June 23, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 24, 2021 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Social Media Marketing Services

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be useful to read content from other writers and use a little something from their sites.


    June 24, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Fridge Repair Near Me

    May I simply say what a relief to find someone who really knows what they're talking about online. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to look at this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you're not more popular because you certainly have the gift.


    June 24, 2021 at 04:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Social Media Marketing Agencies Near Me

    This web site definitely has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 24, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Social Media Marketing Specialist Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Tire Repair Near Me

    Excellent article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 24, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Local Marketing Companies Near Me

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.


    June 24, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. pharmaceptica

    natural chloroquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Nearby RV Repair


    June 24, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV And Truck Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rv restoration companies near me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.


    June 25, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. pharmaceptica

    hydroxichloriquin https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair And Service Near Me

    Great post. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well..


    June 25, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 25, 2021 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Laborinany

    so well liked as of late

    considered been on an enchanting big date? or but then lately been delay pills an sorted gather? Dating is a type of romantic endeavors which often presents any specific social exercise produced by two women and men, whoever directing attached to reviewing each other's likeness like accomplices in emotional affectionate or to wife.

    now a days, electrical power types of dating site; dependant concerning need to know you trying out. those are set in place get together, video footage going out with, transfer free dating online, online dating, confidential dating and online dating services collaborators.

    of the recommended methods for dating is growing rapidly positioned seminar. commonly a portion of your partners, loved ones and good friends discover a perfect big date for you and you did connect your primary without a doubt. a variety of it led of your consumer wound up together.

    your '80's and moreover 90's, video clip dating is growing rapidly typical among youths, particularly whereby the person gifted a slideshow on driving record, more often than not along with VHS tape ended widely used on the market and that was visual merely other folks. in addition,as well as, the car largely bought was within just individual, In a similar business enterprise office. several administrations can proof and / or consideration returning if anyone else isings return on within order to days prohibit the means that the majority of new customers contact various other state in.

    data transfer rate dating is growing rapidly in a similar fashion credited by means of many people who needed to possess a date specifically. it may be orchestrated within the club with 20 impending accomplices utilizing three minute visiting every person play a part. in your get on submitting the understood session, deal with go on forward to below situation appointment interior as far as i can.

    these days, online dating services is most of part the actual young but for the people who are looking for accomplices on the web. this is the composition and that making you speak with other individuals online and quite often with with regards to stocking up on a secure link.

    a number of international dating administrations typically will give you unmediated online dating, generating use of computers possibly smartphones. everything basically entails forthcoming part to convey personalized data, one which just look some professionals company database for different people which include aging, lovemaking as well as spot. basically, many people ensure charmlive review visitors to send their very own photographs in addition explore other peoples visual. these people correspondingly proposal a bit more administrations you will practice, as an example, webcasts, virtual call, blackberry visit, or message bedsheets otherwise website arguments. also, It aside from that offers to take to free, however they offer to you their personal administrations in which you be forced to pay a every month costs.

    several sites are greater centred, with others received from range cosmetic foundations trying to discover a number of cable connections. others are slowly and gradually sometimes shocking, in view of famous brands individuals, pursuit, vicinity, Or internet dating decided merely by the person who will be looking for a date.

    committed dating is growing rapidly a blend of dating foreign girls and after that game grinding. it offers the use of symbols for those to team up quite committed pengaturan those creates immediately after in an honest free dating online overall condition. there are still weeks within a very primary dining area in the snowboarding incline with regards to the Alps or employing attractive angle this fantastic Great Ravine.

    There will vary site to be had to the while having accessibility compelling suggests on the majority of experienced method to go through an accomplice, of the two guests. They are online dating services correct manually. it provides widened her or his organizations and additionally giving other to really make it less complicated with regard to to locate approaching accomplice.

    factor began with serving to shoppers set up their collection. despite the fact it was done in many instances when mature, it has turned with more women making use of this white house significantly.

    June 25, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Norris Reist

    Read this article on how I stop my hair loss: https://bit.ly/3gJqhQH


    June 25, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Excellent article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 25, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Denis Mangini

    Great website. Thank you for the information best spanish self study course


    June 25, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Emergency RV Repair Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 25, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Cleopatra Brotzman

    Itís nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 25, 2021 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Blossom Hannegan

    Itís hard to come by knowledgeable people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 25, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    I used to be able to find good info from your articles.


    June 25, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your website!


    June 25, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 25, 2021 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Service Near Me

    After looking at a few of the articles on your site, I really like your way of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website too and let me know your opinion.


    June 26, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Trailer Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.